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SC East Bengal coach Robbie Fowler says 'uncoached Indians' comment taken out of context

Robbie Fowler was critical of the Indian players in his squad after the last game. Faheem Hussain / Sportzpics for ISL

SC East Bengal head coach Robbie Fowler on Friday said his comments on Indian players after his side's back-to-back defeats in the Indian Super League (ISL) were taken out of context, and said they would get better with time. Following their 3-0 loss to Mumbai, the Liverpool legend had said that some of the Indian players in his squad had 'looked like they hadn't been coached before.'

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"This has been taken out of context a lot. My comments were directed at my team. We are trying to play a certain way, my philosophy is coaching the team to the best of my knowledge and ability. We have an intricate way of playing. We have an identity, a philosophy. My players haven't been coached this way before. We are trying to implement our ways, trying to get the best out of what we've got. And it means lots of hours on the training pitch, trying to get them fundamentally what is right for us as a team, what Is right for me as a manager, and getting the best out of them," Fowler said.

"I obviously didn't mean to disrespect anyone. There are a lot of good Indian players, but their understanding of the game can always be better. We have a certain philosophy and we're trying to get all our players accustomed to it," he added.

Fowler said that his side have not played that badly and urged his players to be more consistent.

"Everything is driven by results in this country. We know results are important, but we haven't played badly, despite not having the best of starts. For example, in our second game against Mumbai City FC, we had a great chance of going 1-0 up.

"This is a huge club and when you put that red-and-gold shirt on, you take on a massive responsibility. This is applicable for all our players, regardless of whether they are Indians or foreigners. We're happy with the squad and the players will get better with time. We have each other's back," he said.

Fowler also took a slight dig at the referees, but added that his players need to be more disciplined.

"We need to be more consistent and our concentration levels need to be high in terms of capitalising on the chances. The refereeing standard can be a bit better, but it is what it is. That's why you need players to understand the game better so that they can be sensible in terms of going for the final tackle and containing opposition forwards," he said.

East Bengal suffered a big setback against Mumbai on Tuesday with the injury to captain Danny Fox, and Fowler admitted he'd be a big miss in their next game against NorthEast United on Saturday.

"Obviously, it's not ideal to lose your captain who is one of your better players, but you've got to accept it and move forward. That said, somebody will have to step up to fill in the void," Fowler said.

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